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Sweeney charged with felony DWI

Former Congressman John Sweeney was arrested and charged with felony DWI in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 5, by New York State Police.

Sweeney, who represented the 20th Congressional District before losing the seat to Kirsten Gillibrand in 2006, was allegedly speeding on Route 9 in Clifton Park when police pulled him over at 3:30 a.m. Police say that he refused to take a breath test or blood test, which will result in a one-year suspension of his license as mandated by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Sweeney was arraigned in Clifton Park Town Court and was briefly remanded to Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $2,000 cash, $5,000 bail bond. Bail was posted shortly thereafter and Sweeney was released.

The DWI charge is automatically a felony, as Sweeney had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge in November of 2007. As a result of that conviction, his license was suspended, he paid a fine and he attended a victim panel and DMV Drinker/Driver program.

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III said that Sweeney will receive no special treatment.

We will treat this prosecution like any other felony DWI case, said Murphy in a statement. "We are fortunate that his alleged conduct did not result in death or serious physical injury to himself or anyone else."

Sweeney is scheduled to be back in court on Thursday, April 9, a 5 p.m.

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